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Saturday, August 1, 2009

At the end of the trail

Some of the cronies and I had a good, long time to sit around and swap stories last night. Among these were several tales about cross-country drives that took place more than three decades ago. They reminded me of what a beautiful slice of the American West we enjoy in Portland. Whatever one thinks of the politics here, just about everything else about the place is truly special.

Comments (15)

Yes, the PNW is a very special place.
Yeah, the politicshere is really bad now, but it is as bad or worse other places...like NJ.
And as my 98 year old mom says, "We survived Franklin Pierce too!".

Tell me about it!

Case in point: I will travel next week to my home state in the deep South for a family reunion.

The heat there feels like the kind we had here the middle of this week, only it lasts 4 or 5 months of the year.

Whatever one thinks of the politics here, just about everything else about the place is truly special.

I heard that.

I knew Portland was going to be my new home the first day I visited my old college friend here in 1994. Moved here 2 mos. later--one of the best decisions I ever made.

Yeah, Keep Portland Wierd.

I kept meaning to do that cross continental drive but life happened. In '77 on a very clear June day, I boarded a plane in Boston and touched down here, having decided to move sight unseen with no job and nowhere to live.
Ah the adventurousness of youth.

It was amazing to see the how empty so much of the nation is in the middle once we were West of Chicago. And I'd never seen big mountains before. Landing here and seeing Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Ranier, and Mt. Jefferson on the way in was awe inspiring.

I left once in '79 to take a really good job back East. I was back here inside of 9 months. This has been home ever since. And yes, the land is really amazing. And it attracts some really good people as well as..... well others.

The view through a-political glasses is spectacular - now back to the fray to keep it so.

Yes Oregon is great. Portland not so much!

Oregon started going down the crapper with the Barbara Roberts administration. That era began the period which fostered the peter principal politicians that manifested themselves along the left coast.

Oregon started going down the crapper with the Barbara Roberts administration.

Sure, Roberts was the trigger -- at least if you ignore the previous decades of cronyism and backroom dealing in the state house and elsewhere.

”at least if you ignore the previous decades of cronyism and backroom dealing” Well as least during that era, schools were adequately funded and the state provided all the important and necessary services without the drama and hand wringing.

Oregon is a little slice of heaven compared to my home state of Minnesota. I went back a few years ago for six months when my father was ill and literally pined for the forests and open spaces of the Northwest. I ran back here as soon as possible and never plan on living anywhere else.

John Benton: It's true, before the Roberts administration schools and other services *were* properly funded. The steady slide into the crapper wasn't caused by her though, you can thank Don McIntire and Measure 5 for all that.

Jack, I lived overseas for a number of years and came home for a reason. Clear skies (more often than not), green things everywhere, beautiful mountains, and an amazing coastline within an hours drive. Can't beat it.

Measure 5 didn’t cause these problems. Giving away the barn to the employees and teachers unions did. Unbridled government spending did. Without measure 5 the average annual property tax bill in Portland would be upwards of 10K. I just can’t believe that the tax and spend progressives are still blaming the voices of restraint. Just yesterday our idiot governor vetoed a cut in frivolous tax credits for wind generation. He doesn’t care that we are pissing more money away unnecessarily. Get real.

I think everyone should drive across the American West at least once in their lives...hopefully more than that. When I was a kid, we always drove the Southern California - Texas route, numerous times. One time we had to take shelter in a church basement in West Texas during a blizzard...say what you will about Middle American Christians in Texas, but they saved our bacon.

That drive though, is so desolate and empty. The stretch of what used to be called Route 666, up from Gallup NM through Cortez, CO, and into Mormonland is even weirder. I drove through there right after 9/11/2001, and we couldn't even get a radio signal, it was so remote.

Came up over a hill, and saw a light in the distance. A gas station ? Civilization ?!? It turned out to be a single light bulb out front of a abandoned Indian Casino ! Talk about creepy, we hightailed it out of there.

But then Utah awaited us, where in Monticello, a frightened looking woman with a beehive harido and plastic plants in the motel lobby lied to me and said they had no rooms for rent. Had to drive on to the next town !

Utah, in spite of the Mormon Empire that sits astride it, is quite beautiful in spots. That whole drive, out I-84 and on into Portland is amazing.

It's easy to forget just how [i]empty[/i] large portions of the American west are. Hope to drive the old Cummins truck up to Northern Idaho and Montana next...

In my tenure in Oregon, I'd give the award for lamest governor to Vic Atiyeh. He might have been congenial but he had no leadership and no vision other than corporate welfare. And cronyism ran rampant not the least of which was major corruption in the OSP system.

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